PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Haiti’s electoral council will allow candidates to re-appeal the preliminary results of the nation’s recent presidential election after its offer to re-tabulate votes was rejected by the two leading opposition candidates.
Candidates have until Dec. 15 to submit a new formal appeal.
Thousands of would-be voters were turned away from the polls on Nov. 28 because their names did not appear on voter registration lists, or because those displaced by Haiti’s Jan. 12 earthquake had not re-registered in their new voting locations.
Michel Martelly, an opposition candidate and renowned pop-singer, finished third behind President René Préval-endorsed candidate Jude Célestin by less than 1% of the vote, according to preliminary results.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP)- Frustrated presidential candidates led a march through Haiti’s capital Thursday to demand officials annul an election they say was tainted by fraud.
At least four of 19 candidates on Sunday’s ballot walked with hundreds of supporters to an electoral council office. They denounced electoral officials, President Rene Preval and the ruling Unity party’s candidate, state construction company chief Jude Celestin, chanting: “Prison for Preval, liberty for Haiti!”
“These were not elections. People were not allowed to vote and there was stuffing of the election boxes … We need democratic elections,” candidate Charles Henri-Baker, a factory owner, told The Associated Press.
The presidential hopefuls were part of a group of 12 candidates who called for voting to be canceled while polls were open, alleging the election was rigged in favor of Celestin.
LEOGANE, Haiti – Hurricane Tomas flooded the earthquake-shattered remains of a Haitian town on Friday, forcing families who had already lost their homes in one disaster to flee another. In the country’s capital, quake refugees resisted calls to abandon flimsy tarp and tent camps.
Driving winds and storm surge battered Leogane, a seaside town west of Port-au-Prince that was near the epicenter of the Jan. 12 earthquake and was 90 percent destroyed. Dozens of families in one earthquake-refuge camp carried their belongings through thigh-high water to a taxi post on high ground, waiting out the rest of the storm under blankets and a sign that read “Welcome to Leogane.”
“We got flooded out and we’re just waiting for the storm to pass. There’s nothing we can do,” said Johnny Joseph, a 20-year-old resident.
The growing hurricane with 75 mph (120 kph) winds battered the western tip of Haiti’s southern peninsula and the cities of Jeremie and Les Cayes.
At least three people died trying to cross swollen rivers, Haiti civil protection officials said. The hurricane had earlier killed at least 14 people in the eastern Caribbean.